The sports betting calendar looks set to suffer further setbacks, following confirmation from the All England Lawn Tennis & Croquet Club (AELTC) that the Wimbledon 2020 Championship faces potential postponement or cancellation.
Having been contingency planning since the turn of the year in an attempt to understand the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and to ensure that professional advice is followed, the AELTC will continue evaluating all scenarios as it works closely with both the UK government and public health authorities.
A statement from the AELTC read: “At this time, based on the advice we have received from the public health authorities, the very short window available to us to stage The Championships due to the nature of our surface suggests that postponement is not without significant risk and difficulty.
“Following the government’s advice, the AELTC’s sites at the All England Club, Wimbledon Park Golf Club and Raynes Park are currently closed with physical operations reduced to the practical minimum to maintain the grass courts and the security of the sites.”
In addition to this, the AELTC has also confirmed it has been in close communication with the LTA, ATP, WTA, ITF, as well as the other Grand Slams and that an emergency meeting of its Main Board has also been scheduled for next week.
The build-up to the Championship was originally due to begin at the end of April, however, further doubt has now been cast on the even following confirmation from the AELTC that stated competing behind closed doors was officially ruled.
Richard Lewis CBE, AELTC Chief Executive, concluded: “The unprecedented challenge presented by the COVID-19 crisis continues to affect our way of life in ways that we could not have imagined, and our thoughts are with all those affected in the UK and around the world.
“The single most important consideration is one of public health, and we are determined to act responsibly through the decisions we make. We are working hard to bring certainty to our plans for 2020 and have convened an emergency meeting of the AELTC Main Board for next week, at which a decision will be made.”
This is the latest impact that the ongoing COVID-19 global outbreak has had on the sporting calendar and follows on from the suspensions to play of the MLS, NHL, NFL and NBA among others.